The Caritas Award Honouree – Centre Flavie-Laurent Inc
Centre Flavie-Laurent distributes at no cost, furniture, household items and clothing to people in need. They sort, store and distribute the goods and the clothing received from donors to help the impoverished in Winnipeg and throughout Manitoba. The strength and mission of the Centre’s work is shown by the service provided to the needy and the concern for the needs and the fate of the poor. Its credibility is rooted in its rich heritage and its founders – the Grey Nuns.
Service Award Honourees – Karin Gordon and Tom Denton
Karin Gordon. A former radiation technician, she has been involved in helping refugees since 1979 and is the house mom at the ministry’s reception centre, a Scotia neighbourhood six-bedroom home as well as 10-bedroom home at 364 Leila. She’s in charge of resettlement, helping refugees find the best thrift shops, taking them to doctor’s appointments and the like. She has been the one called by Canadian Customs border agents when refugee claimants have managed to walk into Canada. She has personally taken some of them in, fed them, clothed them and assisted them as they apply for formal refugee status.
Tom Denton. Tom came to Winnipeg almost 50 years ago from the Bar of Alberta, where he was a practicing lawyer, to join a large business enterprise where he served in law and management capacities. In 1980, he was the founding publisher of the Winnipeg Sun newspaper. He was executive director of Winnipeg’s then settlement agency, the International Centre from 1984 to 2000, and of Hospitality House Refugee Ministry since 2006. In 2016 alone, Hospitality House landed in Canada over 1,100 refugees it had sponsored. Tom has served on many public and volunteer boards and was the first chair of the Manitoba Immigration Council and of the Winnipeg Arts Council. His involvement with immigration and its issues, on which he consults, speaks and writes frequently, extends over 37 years. He is a Member of the Order of Manitoba as well as Member of the Order of Canada.
Charity of Choice 2020 – Hospitality House Refugee Ministry.
Hospitality House Refugee Ministry is a non-profit organization, and has for many years been Winnipeg's leading sponsor of refugees. Thousands have been sponsored from appalling refugee circumstances, into new hope and productive lives in Canada.
They continue to flood into our city, and while caring families look after many, others must look to the support of Hospitality House to survive their first year here.
The Caritas Award Honouree and Key note Speaker – Joy Smith
Joy Smith is a leading advocate against human trafficking worldwide, and a champion of women’s rights. Her faith in God is what motivates her. “I’ve always called upon God to give me direction on what to do. My faith and my God are everything to me.” Joy often references faith and God’s calling as what motivated her to pursue politics to help human trafficking victims.
Service Award Honourees – Carol Peloquin, sngm and Bo Gajda
Carol Peloquin, snjm. After many years of teaching and being a foster mother for several Aboriginal girls at Meegwech House, Sr. Carol has dedicated the last 28 years to prison ministry at Stony Mountain, Rockwood Institution, and the Future Hope organization that supports Released Offenders to reintegrate back into the community.
Bo Gajda is a retired prison chaplain with over 16 years of experience within Manitoba federal medium and minimum-security institutions. Bo seeks opportunities and situations that contribute to and support respect and dignity for all people and promote essential peace building efforts. He is currently involved with the Circles of Support and Accountability Winnipeg, Future Hope and the Manitoba Catholic Tri-diocesan Prison Ministry committee.
Charity of Choice 2019 – Future Hope
Future Hope is dedicated to helping male ex-offenders rebuild their lives, one step at a time, in their transition from prison and parole to “normal life” back in the community. There will be a 40/30/30 draw at the Dinner. The proceeds will be disbursed to the draw winner, Charity of Choice and the Joy Smith Foundation.